Saturday, 1 June 2013

'City of Glass 11- StillmanStillman' Work in progress


Like 'City of Glass 10-StillmanStillman' this painting explores the idea of the detective Quinn's dilemma about which Stillman to follow: one goes left, one goes right.  The split canvas represents the choice.  The viewer becomes Quinn, flitting from figure to figure, forced to choose......
My only niggle about 'City of Glass 10' was the absence of location and its disconnection
to the other paintings in the series. I thought that instead of forcing location onto that painting,  if I did another painting that included the two figures and location, the link would be made. On reflection, the painting was resolved on Friday (see below). Midtown Manhattan,(where Grand Central is located) is suggested, with the Hudson River indicated by the two parallel lines behind the blue figure and the east river by the thick band of grey behind the brown figure.
Today, I tried to make the location more explicit and introduced the lime-green horizontal to indicate the bottom of Central Park, with the canvas divide as 5th Ave. I also introduced a grid which confused the painting even more.  Lots of problems with the right -figure: either too graphic or too subtle or too heavy or too brown! It disappeared altogether at one point which confirmed to me it needed to be there. Had a good last half-hour when the right figure was scraped back to near-bare canvas.
I agree with Janie's comment today, that the left painting works on its own. Splitting the canvases is an option but may make the idea weaker. Perhaps a small gap might work. While it works in the left canvas, the green band doesn't help the diptych - I'll try a new colour on Monday and extend it into the right side or even take it out. The band weakens the power of the divide.   Need some clean brushes first!! 

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